The cause of acne on the skin is rather straight forward.

  • Acne develops when skin flakes and sebum (skin oil) clog your pores.
  • A clogged pore becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, particularly Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which contributes to pimple formation.
  • One effective¬†acne treatment is to apply a topical bacteria-killing agent to the surface of your skin.¬†

1. Several essential oils are antibacterial or topical bacteria-killing agents. According to one laboratory study, the essential oils that are the most effective against P. acnes are: 

  • Cinnamon.
  • Thyme.
  • Rosemary.

Check out our blog on diluting essential oils for use on your skin to learn how you can make a lotion or oil that uses the powers of essential oils like cinnamon to reduce your acne for smoother, healthier skin.


You can also apply a small dab of essential oil directly to a pimple, but you risk irritating and or sensitizing your skin if you do this. This method is especially risky if you have not done a patch test on part of your skin with the essential oil before applying it, or if the acne has broken skin in and around it.